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What Is Truth?
© 10.24.06 By D. Eric Williams

This article appeared in the October 26th edition of the Cottonwood Chronicle

Is there such a thing as absolute truth? In today's world, many believe truth is nothing more than a cultural construct. In other words, truth is determined by the prevailing mood of the culture in which one lives. Others believe truth is a personal matter; Smith is free to define his own truth as long as it doesn't impose upon Jones. In this sense the culture or tradition Smith and Jones live under defines truth for the many while allowing the one to specify truth for himself.

Those who believe truth is defined in a relative manner often say things like, "there is no absolute truth" or "that may be true for you but not for me." Immediately we should ask by way of response, "is that an absolute statement?" In other words, is Smith saying there is no absolute truth absolutely? Obviously he cannot. To say so is absurd. But if there is no absolute truth, then Smith's statement is irrelevant. If truth is defined by individual whim - or the prevailing culture - then why should anyone care what another person believes? If the statement "that may be true for you but not for me" is valid then what happens if Smith's "truth" allows him to eliminate anyone that he doesn't like? What if Smith finds pleasure in destroying inferior life forms - including human beings he perceives as an inconvenience? Well, that may not work for Jones, but on what grounds can Jones say Smith is wrong? He may appeal to the prevailing cultural norms; but what if the majority arrives at the conclusion Smith is right?

Unless we recognize absolute unchanging truth is found only in God we have no foundation upon which to build. Unless we embrace the Bible as truth we have no standard by which to judge right from wrong.

When truth is defined by committee there is no safe ground for the minority opinion. In other words, when might makes right the weak the powerless and the disenfranchised suffer. Despotic "truth," whether by committee or springing from the mind of a dictator always ends in murder. We see the evidence of this fact throughout history; ancient Rome, revolutionary France, Nazi Germany, Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the Roe v. Wade decision in our own nation.

Here in the United States of America, truth defined by committee allows for the murder of one disenfranchised subject every twenty seconds. That's four thousand every day, one and a half million each year. To say this is as bad as the Nazi genocide of Jews is an understatement. At least the Jewish people whom Hitler attempted to exterminate had some possibility of escape. The family of Corrie ten Boom managed to save many Jews in Holland before they themselves were taken away by the Nazis. A child in the womb has no one to turn to; not even the slightest occasion for escape. The unborn baby is completely at the mercy of those who seek to take his life.

I wonder how much longer this nation will survive. Truth by committee - nine old men and women with plenty of time on their hands - has turned this nation into the moral equivalent of Nazi Germany. Hitler's goons murdered six million Jews and thousands of other ethnic minorities. We have killed more than 40 million babies since 1973. There is no way we can claim to be morally superior to any of the other blood thirsty regimes throughout history. Murderous states differ only in the minority group they choose to eliminate. Murder is murder whether the cries of the victim are heard or not.

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